Berlin, 28 September 2015:
Baltic Sea Youth Philharmonic and Kristjan Järvi to collect European Cultural Prize 2015 and perform at high-profile gala in Dresden

• Gala award event takes place on 2 October, eve of 25th anniversary of German reunification
• Baltic Sea Youth Philharmonic will perform and accompany classical music superstars including
Angela Gheorghiu and Jonas Kaufmann
• Evening to be broadcast live on Central German Broadcasting MDR

Berlin, 28 September 2015. The Baltic Sea Youth Philharmonic (BYP) travels to Dresden this week, 2 October, for a star-studded gala event marking the 25th anniversary of German reunification. There, they will receive the prestigious European Cultural Prize 2015, perform orchestral works and accompany leading stars of the classical music world including Angela Gheorghiu and Jonas Kaufmann, under the baton Kristjan Järvi, the orchestra’s Founding Conductor and Music Director.

European Cultural Prize 2015
The orchestra follows in the footsteps of Kurt Masur, Daniel Barenboim, Plácido Domingo, Thomas Quasthoff and the Berlin Philharmonic, who have all been awarded the European Cultural Prize by the European Foundation for Culture ‘Pro Europe’. The foundation promotes dialogue between European states and regions and makes regular awards to artists it deems as working effectively towards this goal. The 2015 jury awarded the Baltic Sea Youth Philharmonic and Kristjan Järvi in acknowledgement of the enormous impact the orchestra has made on the culture of the region since its inception in 2008. In particular, the jury cited BYP’s ‘passionate and thrilling performances as an example to others to inspire worldwide audiences and foster cultural understanding in Europe and beyond’. Tilo Braune, President of the European Foundation for Culture ‘Pro Europe’, said: ‘The European Cultural Awards honour outstanding achievements and special contributions in and for Europe. I can’t imagine anything better to celebrate 25 years of the reunification of Germany than an orchestra of young, talented musicians from the countries surrounding the Baltic Sea coming together to create the sound of a united Baltic Sea region.’

Kristjan Järvi said of the award: ‘The European Culture Prize means a lot to us. It confirms that Baltic Sea Youth Philharmonic meets the spirit of the times. 25 years after the German reunification and European integration, we need more initiatives like our orchestra, to touch the hearts and minds of people around the world. We are bringing a historically divided region like the Baltic Sea closer together, with passion and emotion. Our orchestra demonstrates impressively how much positive energy cooperation between young people liberates, and we hope to be an example and inspiration to others.’

Peace and reconciliation
The prize will be presented at a star-studded gala event on 2 October, the eve of the 25th anniversary of the reunification of Germany, in Dresden’s Frauenkirche, itself a symbol of peace and reconciliation. The orchestra will perform the Prelude from Charpentier’s Te Deum and Beethoven’s ‘Prometheus’ Overture, as well as accompanying Angela Gheorgiu, Jonas Kaufmann, Maximilian Hornung, Daniel Hope, Ben Lepetit, Simone Kermes and Samuel Kummer in works by Catalani, Puccini, Haydn, Rózsa, Vivaldi and Bach, concluding with Beethoven’s rousing ‘Ode an die Freude’, which has become an anthem for Europe. The award will be given by former German Foreign Minister Hans-Dietrich Genscher, and speakers include Daniel Barenboim, Music Director of the Staatskapelle, Berlin, Dominique Meyer, Director of the National Opera, Vienna, soprano Simone Kermes, and actor Charles Brauer. The event will be broadcast live by Central German Broadcasting MDR.

Unique voice from the North
Founded in 2008 by the Usedom Music Festival and Nord Stream AG, the Baltic Sea Youth Philharmonic features musicians aged 18-28 from, or studying in, the ten countries bordering the Baltic Sea. Retaining national specialities but opening up to international perspective, the musicians share their influence, knowledge and perspective to create a unique voice for the region. More than a youth orchestra, it is a project for cultural and social integration and cooperation to create unity in a historically-divided region. In 2015, BYP is supported by Nord Stream AG, operator of the natural gas pipeline through the Baltic Sea, as co-initiator and main sponsor as well as Saipem, one of the global leaders in the engineering & construction and drilling businesses, as sponsor.

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